Happy new year! It’s 2019 and we here at It’s Nice That have just about managed to get back into the swing of things. Although it’s tough to accept that a mince pie followed by three Ferrero Rochers is no longer considered a decent breakfast, we’re more than excited for the upcoming year of exhibitions and events taking place across the creative world in 2019.
To kickstart your year creatively, we’ve pulled together some of best bits happening throughout and opening in January. Whether you’re into photography, textiles, literature or even dance, hopefully, you’ll find something to drag you out the house and dispell those January blues.
Grace Wales Bonner
19 January – 16 February 2019
Serpentine Gallery, London
It’s Nice That favourite Grace Wales Bonner explores mysticism, ritual and magical resonances within black cultural and aesthetic practices. Over the course of one month, a multi-sensory installation and a series of happenings will invite contemplation and activate the spaces of the Serpentine. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Yep!
God Made My Face: a Collective Portrait of James Baldwin
10 January – 16 February 2019
David Zwirner Gallery, New York
Curated by Hilton Als (theatre critic at The New Yorker, and author of the astonishing essay collection White Girls), this group show sees some of contemporary art’s biggest names celebrate the life and work of novelist James Baldwin. Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Richard Avedon, Karl Bissinger, Beauford Delaney, Marlene Dumas, Glenn Ligon, Cameron Rowland, Kara Walker, and James Welling have each contributed works that take the author of Giovanni’s Room as their inspiration.
Jack Killick: Engine
21 December 2018 – 22 January 2019
Picnic Gallery, London
Jack Killick is a painter and sculptor who lives and works in London. His latest exhibition consists of new paintings along with a number of freestanding sculptural works, produced in response to Picnic Gallery’s architectural properties. Through painting and sculpture, Jack Killick depicts large abstract forms that create immersive environments. His work plays with the idea of reciprocity as images can be seen as shadows or prints of the objects, while the objects are descriptive of the images.
Eric N. Mack: Lemme walk across the room
11 January – 7 July 2019
Brooklyn Museum, New York
Eric N. Mack’s Lemme walk across the room sees the emerging artist transform the Brooklyn Museum’s Great Hall with a site-responsive installation of new and existing textile-based works hung, mounted, and draped among the classical architecture of the space. Mack’s work explores the boundaries of painting, sculpture, and fashion, dynamically reflecting and framing the rich visual experiences of the everyday.
Josse Pyl: Can’t hear My Mind
14 December 2018 – 31 January 2019
Josse Pyl uses language as a way to shape both reality and fiction. In this solo exhibition, Can’t Hear My Mind, he explores the visual translation of communication as ideas and material form in our daily environment, from its function to its graphical representation and on to its subsequent reading. This includes the ways in which communication merely consists of abstract characters, physical choreography, and mechanical messages. Throughout the show, the artist uses graphic, kinetic, and sculptural shapes in order to expose the machinery behind those marks and sounds that connect one human to another.
Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng: English as a Second Language
25 January – 28 April 2019
Somerset House, London
Employing an otherworldly and playful approach to their practice, Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng incorporate cultural signifiers, set design and fashion to present their unique take on Western aesthetics and fashion ideals. Bringing distinct Asian perspectives to their work, they challenge the concept of “otherness” and reflect upon the power fashion photography holds in shaping our perceptions of beauty, style and taste.
Dane Hurst: Animalis
10am-5pm every Sunday until 27 January 2019
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
These intimate performances, choreographed by the critically acclaimed dancer Dane Hurst, give form to the emotional tensions, psychological resonances and physical impulses on display in Ribera: Art of Violence – the first UK show of the Spanish artist, Jusepe de Ribera, bringing together his monumental canvases and masterfully composed prints and drawings.
Sarah Oppenheimer: I-131311
28 December 2018 – 28 January 2019
Von Bartha, S-chanf, Grisons
Entitled I-131311, the work on display is described by the artist as an “instrument”: a set of mechanically linked architectural elements which are manipulated by the viewer, or “player”, within the space. Embedded within the gallery walls, the instrument resembles movable windows and doors. Activated by touch, the manipulation of its elements causes a chain reaction: pivoting a window opens a wall, whilst rotating a column constricts the dimensions of a doorway.
Unrivaled Calligraphy: Yan Zhenqing and His Legacy
16 January – 24 February 2019
Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo
A must-see for any typography fanatics, Unrivaled Calligraphy: Yan Zhenqing and His Legacy explores the work of Yan Zhenqing, a leading Chinese calligrapher during the Tang Dynasty. His style was revolutionary during a time when “standard script” style by the three calligraphy masters – Ouyang Xun, Yu Shinan and Chu Suiliang – was the norm. This exhibition explores the calligrapher’s influence on future generations and hones in on the reception to his works in Japan.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.